Rushworth: 'I've learned so much from our coaches'

Keeper praises work of Ruth and Crofts as under-23s look to finish the season strongly.

By Charlie Hanson • 15 April 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Carl Rushworth kept a clean sheet in his last outing - a 3-0 win over Southampton in PL2.

Goalkeeper Carl Rushworth is delighted with his own personal development under under-23s coaches Shannon Ruth and Andrew Crofts.

The pair took over on an interim basis when Simon Rusk departed in February and Rushworth is pleased with the progress they have helped him make.

“It would be a totally different experience if Shannon wasn’t here, the whole squad would have a completely different feel,” the 19-year-old said. “He demands a lot but he gets on with everyone so well.

“He can put his arm around you in those tough moments and tell you that you’re going to be alright and you believe him. But he can also be strict which we all respect because of how he treats us and the hard work he puts in.

By Paul Hazlewood
Shannon Ruth joined up with the under-23s in January 2018.

“He’s a big character and his jokes are getting better, although I have taught him a few!

“On a training day you can’t replicate playing in front of 30,000 people, but he will play mind games with you because if or when we get the chance we will feel comfortable in the situation. With Robert Sanchez getting his chance it shows there is that opportunity.

“If I listen to Shan I have the best chance to follow in the footsteps of the players he has worked with before like Robert. With the belief and faith he has in me, I can trust Shannon with my development and hopefully repay him by reaching a high level.”

Ruth and Crofts have overseen twos win, two defeats and four draws in their eight games in charge. That includes three clean sheets against Manchester United, Chelsea and Southampton.


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U23 Highlights: Albion 3 Southampton 0

“There have been games this season where we have conceded a few more goals than we would have liked but because we have gone through that and learned how much it hurts we’re doing everything in our power to ensure it doesn’t keep happening.

“Crofty was a big character when he was player-coach and he has continued that now he’s in charge. He still has the same passion he had as a player and he demands a lot of us in training. The run of good performances since he and Shan took over reflect that.

“Even in team meetings he shows what you need to do to be a top professional and it starts with our attitude. Hard work can get us to where we want to be alongside talent and he knows what it takes having played in the Premier League.

“Personally, now that I’ve found my feet and am getting a consistent run of games I feel I am playing well.”

The under-23s are back in action on Friday when they entertain Derby County, kick off 7pm.